We’ve all been there: a corporate retreat in your aggressively-beige conference room, and before we get down to business, it’s time for another teambuilder. Everyone’s looking to you to make a decision, and the team is sick of your two favorite choices: another human knot that will make HR sweat or craft an indestructible marshmallow tower without using your thumbs? Is that going to build the type of culture at the office you need?
Well lighten up, because we’re coming right atcha with six lit get-to-know-you activities so powerful that you’ll form a blood bond with your coworkers and forget your husband’s name!
1. Speed Dating!
Feel like you don’t know your coworkers well enough? Stop complaining, and start speed dating! Set the timer for 2 minutes and see if you can get through some basic questions: first job, favorite snack, dream job, and see if the women in the office can get a word in over that guy that’s always in the break room clipping his fingernails! Once you’re through those first 2 minutes, share one deeply personal fact and depart, leave no time for discussion! There will be plenty of time to discuss this when you are re-married you all to your coworkers based on the ranked-choice voting. No, our employee support services do not include couples counseling, you silly bickering newlyweds, and we certainly don’t know where the ashes of your “real” marriage license are, or how to contact your “real” children. Time to embark on your new life!
2. Human Car!
Everyone pick a number between 0-100. The smallest prime number gets to be the driver, and everyone else in the office contorts their body into part of a functional car shape! Roll on up to the nearest drive through and order 100 chicken nuggets! Who needs a family now? You are the proud commander of a human car! Before you know it, you’ll forget to pick up your kids from soccer practice in your actual SUV! Vroom vroom, sick coworker wheels!
3. Baby Photos!
Everyone bring in a photo of themselves as a child. Now, bring in a photo of a sibling or relative, the child your parents truly admired and offered praise to. Wow, good choice, that’s a much better looking baby, we should have hired your cousin! Wait, what’s wrong with your eye in this photo, what kind of baby has that much hair by their eye, did we really put that person in charge of Marketing? Each employee will take a turn placing the photos side-by-side and presenting key differences in appearance, attitude, and career path. 15 minutes will be allowed for audience comments and critiques. By the end, you’ll be so deeply aware of your faults that you’ll never be able to look your husband in the eye again. Better stay at the office every night! Are we learning about ourselves yet or what?
4. Secret Time!
Pick the person in the office you’d murder if you had to and, deep down inside, discover why you would do such a thing! What’s your method? Are you a flashy sword murderer, or a stealthy poison type? Whisper it to one other person in the office. You can learn a lot about your coworkers (and yourselves!) by the choices you’d make in a premeditated crime! For a fun twist, tell your target it’s them! Beyond that, never tell another soul, definitely not your family members, especially not HR, they’re the cops!
5. Ropes Course!
Consider a ropes course! Pushing yourself to get over your fear of heights would be good for you!
6. Escape Room: Office Style!
There’s a basement, yes? Or some storage unit? Go there first. Everyone put on a thick blindfold, yes, one where no light can get in and the door isn’t visible from any windows, it’s important that no one sees us go in. Secure the blindfolds with duct tape. Stop crying. If your families don’t find you or call within 12 hours, you lose, you have to stay there! Texts don’t count! We’re your sightless family now.
Any one of these ice breakers will get your team clicking, communicating and huddling together for warmth in no time.